Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a morning tea at Newcastle Council Chambers at which a full set of Admission registers from Newcastle Girls High School and 2 additional Admission registers from Newcastle Boys High School were handed over to State Records NSW. They will be be stored at the Regional Repository at Newcastle Region Library where they will be arranged and described and made accessible to the wider community.
Admission registers in particular are a great source of social history with their detailed information about students and their families. This is a wonderful example of people who valued the records and what they represented saving them from destruction and ensuring their long term preservation by returning them to public custody. Big thanks are due to the Newcastle Boys High School Old Boys Association and the Newcastle Girls High School Ex-Students Association, and in particular to Bill Shute and Robyn Gordon who guided the return of the records. In fact the Old Boys Association went one step further and provided digitised copies of all known Admission registers for both institutions!
In both cases it appears that the records would not have survived without the swift intervention of concerned individuals. Their path back to public custody was a long one and the records were cared for privately for many years. Local Studies Librarian, Sue Ryan, and her team at Newcastle Region Library were instrumental in the return of these records. Without the relationship that they developed with the Ex-Students Associations and their willingness to meet and address their concerns the return of these records may not have been possible. The end result is a win for all.